Singing For a Great Cause

04/27/10 – By GURPREET GHAG

Steve Bell shares a joke with the audience. PHOTO By GURPREET GHAG

An unusual Friday night crowd begins filing their way into the Dovercourt Baptist Church at the Northwest corner of Dufferin and Bloor- some chat with one and other, some look for seats in the auditorium and others stand in line at the concession stand.

Pam Trondson waits for a friend in the church’s foyer.

She says she is here because of a certain man’s vulnerability and love-filled messages.

“He openly talks about it all- the good, the bad and the ugly. And I just love his messages about faith,” she says.

You’d think she was talking about God.

Behind the scenes, away from the chatter and the filing, a cheery, wide-eyed Steve Bell converses with a friend in his private room.

He speaks modestly for a singer/songwriter who has sold hundreds of thousands of records, traveled the country and even landed two Juno awards.

In fact, so modest is Bell that he doesn’t even talk about what this means for the fans who have paid $15 for an opportunity to see him.

“The real winners are the Oasis Community Centre,” he says, “who will receive the net proceeds from the show.”

But the 171 fans that packed the auditorium, singing and clapping seemed to be fine with coming in second place.

Oasis’ executive director, Chris Ortiz, said events and partnerships with performers like Bell are crucial in helping support the over 120 families, mostly consisting of newcomers, that the community centre helps feed and educate.

The next fundraiser for Oasis will be a participant’s choice of a five or 10 km. run, followed by a soccer game on May, 29th.

For more information, you can call the Community Centre at (416) 536-3197.

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